You Were Never Really Here ★★★

As both a fan of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy and anti-fan of the John Wickiverse, there’s something about You Were Never Really Here I definitely find compelling. I don’t know if “art house brutality” is a genre, but this would be a master of the form. 

It’s quite the accomplishment that Ramsay is able to create a world where violence is at the core of everything without showing any of it, save for the self-inflicted.

Still, it’s hard to love this one. The broken older guy saved by the abused but still finding the beauty in it all cliche is cringeworthy. 

And this is a bit unfair, but as soon as I realized Johnny Greenwood provides the score, I slotted this one into a certain kind of film — I can’t even really articulate what this means, it’s one where I’m suddenly self-conscious of everything I’m supposed to be thinking of. Turns out, there’s such a thing as too spare and contemplative and I may have reached that limit. 

That said, we could use more explorations of the broken pathologies of white men, made by people who aren’t those. This is the first of Ramsay’s films I’ve seen, I’ll try on a few more.

Jim liked this review